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Wednesday Links

Story of the day is obviously Erick Dampier. I've only been able to watch the first half of the game so far, but Dampier's the obvious player of the game up to the point. He wasn't just better than Ben Wallace, he was WAY better. The pessimist might point out that Dampier has a bigger contract than Big Ben, but whatever.

Interesting Dampier stat from Sefko on the DMN blog.

But the Mavericks were 7-0 last year when Erick Dampier had a double-double. Tuesday night's was his first of this season. They also are 35-7 when Dampier gets into double-digit scoring. That's out of a possible 148 games in which Dampier has scored 10 or more 42 times. In other words, don't plan on a string of 10-point games coming up.
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Garcia's game recap focuses on Dampier.
Dampier's contributions nevertheless stood out. A key in the fourth quarter in wins at Phoenix and Portland, Dampier was a presence from the start against Chicago.

Perhaps he wanted to get his All-Star campaign -- he's on the Western Conference ballot -- off and running. Ten of his points came on five rim-bending dunks. His three blocks nearly matched his total of five through the first six games.
Forget what I wrote for ESPN.com - if Dampier make the all-star team I'll get the Mavs logo tattooed on my chest.

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Sefko reports that Avery Johnson won't be tinkering with the lineup until Howard comes back. Unfortunately, Sefko also says that Howard's ankle is still "puffy" and he hasn't stepped on the court yet.
Until Josh Howard returns, Avery Johnson has a group of starters and backups with whom he has grown comfortable.

Johnson will start the five players who have been with the team at least two full seasons - Dirk Nowitzki, Jerry Stackhouse, Jason Terry, Devin Harris and Erick Dampier.

He's settled on Anthony Johnson, Greg Buckner, Devean George and DeSagana Diop as the primary reserves, with rookie Moe Ager and Austin Croshere picking up minutes where they can.
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Garcia has a mini-article about Stackhouse's assist totals.
Despite his offensive reputation, Stackhouse has averaged nearly four assists for his career. His court vision and ability to handle the ball have long been underrated.

Coach Avery Johnson has stressed Stackhouse's importance in getting teammates involved. The Mavs were 14-3 last season when Stackhouse had at least four assists.
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Jan Hubbard has a good article about the "Rasheeed Wallace/Tim Duncan Rule" and thinks it shouldn't apply to coaches.

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